How to Do a Scissor

Fake out your opponent with this slick dribbling skill

Team MOJO

| 1 min watch

Looking for a soccer move to cut past defenders, slice through the opponent and carve out chances to score? Then the scissor is the soccer move for you. 

What is a scissor? 

The scissor is a cousin of the step over. With a step over, the player fakes a pass with the inside of the foot and brings the foot over the ball. When a player does a scissor, she fakes a pass with the outside of the foot and swings the leg around the ball. Both soccer moves end with the player using the outside of the foot to move the ball away from a defender.

This skill looks like its name: By keeping the moving leg almost straight as it comes in front of the ball, the movement looks like a pair of scissors.

How to do a scissor

Soccer player practicing the scissor

The scissor starts with faking an outside-of-the-foot pass. (It can be the left foot or right foot.)

Soccer player practicing the scissor, step 2

Instead of making contact with the ball, the player loops her leg around it, landing the foot at 2 o’clock for a right foot fake or 10 o’clock for the left.

Soccer player practicing the scissor, step 3

Then with the outside of the other foot, the player cuts with the ball and accelerates in the opposite direction.

To really trip up a defender, there’s the double scissor — when a player combines the fakes with two loops around the ball instead of one. It’s a dazzling combination that helps players maintain possession.

How to practice the scissor 

Have players start by practicing the basic scissor motion. They can stand over the ball and fake an outside-of-the-foot pass with the right foot by swinging the leg in front of the ball. Then, have them try with the left. Then they can do one with the right foot and go into one with the left foot, like they’re doing a little dance over and around the ball.

Finally, have them add the step. After the foot comes around the ball and lands, they can knock the ball to the side with the outside of the other foot and run with it. While they’re dribbling, they can take one as they run and keep going.

Players can also get more comfortable with the move by trying to incorporate it as they play 1 vs 1 or 2 vs 2 games, or while scrimmaging. Small-sided games like I Want To Be Like and Liverpool reward players who attack the ball with assertiveness, and are a great way to use the scissor to beat a defender. 

When to use a scissor 

One of the big differences between this soccer move and a step over is that the scissor is almost always done while the player is dribbling. Players can practice the scissor from a standing position, but in a game they’ll do it on the move. 

The scissor is most effective when a player is running at a defender who is giving them a bit of space.

With both a step over and a Maradona Turn, the feet and legs are close to the player’s body. The leg makes a wider circle in the scissor. This is great for distracting the defender and shielding the ball. But, if the defender is too close, the dribbler might accidentally kick the defender while swinging the leg around the ball. This would result in a foul and a free kick to the other team.

A scissor followed by a burst of acceleration is a decisive move for a soccer player to take their attacking game to the next level. Now get out there and sharpen those skills!

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